Britain’s regulators will convert banking and insurance rules inherited from the European Union after Brexit to make them more tailored to the British market, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday. Carney said Britain had long expressed opposition to the EU’s cap on banker bonuses, the full application of banking capital rules on smaller lenders and the bloc’s insurance capital rules.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in a decade to contain an increase in inflation stoked by the Brexit vote, in what is otherwise a moment of high uncertainty for the economy. In a statement Thursday, the bank said it had lifted its benchmark rate, which affects the cost of loans and savings rates in the wider economy, to 0.50% from the record low of 0.25%.
Bank of England is expected to reverse emergency action taken following the Brexit referendum, when it cut rates from 0.5% to 0.25% to avert a recession. While a slump has not materialized, the British economy appears in worse health than most other major countries, with potential to be blown further off course by faltering talks to leave the EU.
The UK's key inflation rate hit its highest for more than five years in September, driven up by increases in transport and food prices. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) climbed to 3%, a level it last reached in April 2012, and up from 2.9% in August. The pick-up in inflation raises the likelihood of an increase in interest rates - currently 0.25% - next month.
Bank of England should hold off from raising interest rates next month, according to a forecasting body. Bank governor Mark Carney has said rates could go up in the relatively near term, with many analysts expecting a hike in November. However, the EY Item Club said such a move risked hurting the UK's fragile economic outlook.
Britain's Theresa May has defended free market capitalism in a speech marking 20 years since the Bank of England was given the right to set interest rates. She said Britons should never forget the value of a free market economy.
Any increases in UK interest rates in the coming months will be “gradual” and “limited”, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said, but “some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months” to help return inflation to its 2% target.
The governor of the Bank of England has warned that uncertainty over Brexit is already weighing on the economy. Mark Carney's comments came as the Bank voted to hold rates and cut growth forecasts. It edged this year's growth forecast down to 1.7% from its previous forecast of 1.9% made in May and also cut the forecast for 2018 from 1.7% to 1.6%.
A three-day strike by Bank of England support staff will go ahead after talks at the conciliation service Acas ended without agreement, the Unite union said. Employees are unhappy about a below inflation pay rise of 1% and protestors are planning to gather outside the Bank of England building wearing masks of Governor Mark Carney.
The Bank of England has asked City financial firms in London to submit Brexit contingency plans, with Governor Mark Carney warning of major economic harm if negotiations between Britain and the EU falter.